The Biggest Staffing Trends of 2019

The new year has rolled in – these are the trends that will impact the way companies think about staffing in 2019.

Published on February 20, 2019

Staffing is an unforgiving industry. If you don’t update and adapt your HR efforts, you will begin to fall behind your competition. As the unemployment rate lowers, fewer and fewer are people looking for work, making it more difficult to find enough people to fill positions each year. There are a number of promising staffing trends for 2019 that could reshape how your company finds workers.


Growth of staffing

Staffing is a tough industry, and it is becoming more difficult than ever before. Competition has been made fierce between staffing agencies – the increasing volatility in the labor market makes it difficult to have an edge over the competition. When staffing agencies work within the same talent pool for a certain market, it’s difficult to consistently fill positions.

The gap between the unemployment rate and the number of available jobs continues to grow. Although this is a good indicator of a strong economy, it also means that businesses are having more trouble finding people to work for them and more work is going undone. The staffing industry has grown as a response to this gap – it’s becoming clear that more people are needed to adequately staff open positions.

A recent ASA study shows that as staffing becomes more difficult, more people are hired into staffing, with an increase of 2.3% in staffing jobs over 2018. Similar growth is anticipated in 2019, both in staffing jobs and in the temp staffing market. SIA found that the temp staffing market is slated to grow 3% in 2019 and staffing revenue is anticipated to grow by 6% in 2019.



Diversity has long been a priority for staffing agencies and businesses alike. Unfortunately, bias still largely exists in recruitment. The most trusted methods of finding the best-fitting candidate are still highly biased and can actively steer companies away from diversity. 42% of surveyed industry experts agree that traditional interviews fail due to the bias of the interviewers. New approaches for pre-hire screening, such as blind hiring, are being developed to remove some of this bias.


Shift towards contingent workforce

Now more than ever before, flexible work arrangements have been prioritized. 78% of surveyed employees say that flexible work arrangements have made them more productive. Part of this can be credited to the creation of flexible, gig work and freelance platforms like Uber and Fiverr. These platforms have enabled people to take on side hustles or pursue gig work as a main source of income. Alongside these gig work platforms are on-demand platforms like tilr that serve jobs based on a person’s skills and availability.



New solutions

There are new ways to work. Gig work platforms, or on-demand workforces, are thriving because people have prioritized flexible work arrangements. These new solutions are on the path to redefine the staffing industry in 2019. Gig work and on-demand platforms enable people looking for work to get to work immediately.


Proactive talent acquisition

Finding people before you need them protects you from a state of reactive staffing. Once you fall into reactive staffing, you run into the issues that many companies and staffing firms fall into – not finding people in time. Proactive staffing comes in the form of assessing the demand and preparing for that demand ahead of time. Starting the process of finding the people weeks or months before you need them can bring you closer to reaching your demand goals.

It’s hard to exit the reactive mode once after entering it. To move from reactive staffing to proactive talent acquisition, you need to essentially staff for two time periods: the present and the future. A proactive talent acquisition strategy will leave you far more capable of finding people when you need them.


Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence will have some impact on recruitment, and 76% of surveyed industry experts believe that this impact will be significant. Part of this impact will be felt when teams are expanding with AI professionals that make operational procedures more efficient through AI. Artificial intelligence will also have an impact on staffing as a whole. The principles of artificial intelligence will be applied to recruitment processes by using data to determine whether a candidate is a good fit. This would mean moving away from interviews and resumes or finding ways to incorporate artificial intelligence into resume screening and interview conduction.

As the unemployment rate drops and more jobs go unfilled, staffing will become even more difficult in 2019. Succeeding in the industry will require approaching staffing differently and taking on new strategies. Understanding these trends and embracing the trends that could benefit your business will set you up for success in 2019.